Pr. Kevin D. Paulson
The book of Daniel contains the first Biblical reference toMichael, where He is described as "one of the chief princes" (Dan.10:11) sent to plead with King Cyrus. Only one heavenly Being is depicted in the book of Daniel as a Prince, and that is Christ theMessiah (Dan. 8:11,25; 9:25). In chapter 12 He is described as "the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people" (verse 1). This calls to mind such New Testament passages as I Tim. 2:5, whichdeclares that "there is one mediator between God and man, the manChrist Jesus," and Heb. 7:25, where it is stated that Jesus "everliveth to make intercession."
With these verses in mind, it becomes clear that "the greatPrince which standeth for the children of thy people" in Dan. 12:1 isthe same Being described in the above New Testament references. Whenin Dan. 10:11 He is described as "one of the chief Princes," thiswould seem to mean He is one of the members of the Godhead. No heavenly angel is described elsewhere in the Bible as a prince, nor is any such being described as a principal defender of God's people.When used for heavenly beings, this term is used only as a title for the divine.
This becomes even clearer when we read of how "the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God" (I Thess. 4:16). Obviously this is Christ Himself descending "with a shout, with the voice of thearchangel." If Christ is shouting "with the voce of the Archangel,"who else could this Archangel be?
Many evangelicals strongly object to Adventists equating Christ with Michael because they think this means we are saying Christ is amere angel--a created being. But of course in the Bible the word angel simply means "messenger," and does not necessarily refer to created beings. This is clear throughout the Old Testament in the repeated references to "the angel of the Lord." The Angel Jacob wrestled with was clearly the Lord Himself, as Jacob declared after this encounter, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Gen. 32:30). This same Angel is depicted as addressing the children of Israel early in the book of Judges, declaring, "I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you into the land which I sware unto your fathers" (Judges 2:1). This again is quite clearly the Lord God speaking, not a created messenger. The same is true in the story of Samson's birth, when the "Angel of the Lord" comes to Manoah and his wife and accepts worship belonging only to God (Judges13:20). A mere angel would not have accepted such reverence, as evidenced by such passages as Rev. 19:10 and 22:9.
Jesus is the Archangel in the sense that He is the Commander in Chief of the heavenly host. The Greek word "archon" means ruler.This doesn't mean He is just an angel, any more than the fact that the President of the United States is commander-in-chief of the American armed forces means he is a soldier.
The problem with this issue on the part of those who misunderstand it is simply a failure to consider the wording of the original languages and to compare scripture with scripture on this subject.
Is the Angel of the Lord Michael?